Madeleine Chwasta went to her first percussion lesson when she was 12, thinking she was pursuing her dreams to be the next rock drum kit player. Unbeknownst to her, her teacher was a marimba specialist, and she spent the whole lesson learning a Mozart violin concerto transcription on the marimba. She has not stopped playing the marimba since.
After being selected to perform at the Palais Theatre for the VCE Top Acts series, based on her VCE percussion recital result, Madeleine went to the University of Melbourne to pursue the Bachelor of Music where she studied under Sergei Golovko and Peter Neville. She completed her degree in 2015, and is at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in 2017 as a foundation student.
Madeleine discovered she had a passion for performing new music at 17 when she was selected to be an Emerging Artist with Speak Percussion. She has since played with Speak Percussion, Rubiks Collective, and was a member of the award winning ensemble for Kate Neal’s Semaphore. Particular chamber music highlights for her were performing at the Art Music Awards in 2016, and performing Boulez’s Sur Incises with the Argonaut ensemble at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music in 2015.
Madeleine also has an interest in performing solo percussion repertoire. In 2014 she was a semi-finalist in the Australian Marimba Competition and has performed as a soloist with the Kooyong Chamber Players.
As a writer, she regularly posts articles for Rehearsal Magazine about music and performing. When she’s not playing percussion, she’s either spending time with her family and friends, working at a glasses shop, or having a nap.
Image by Pia Johnson